Gas or Charcoal?

The ever standing questions still stands: Gas or Charcoal? Though either can get the job done, many chefs swear by one or the other. What’s the right cooking technique for you?Cal Flame Outdoor Kitchen

Here are some pros and cons, first for charcoal:

Pros: Most professional cooks prefer charcoal grills. It gives a deeper smoky flavor, and, used properly, it produces a clean heat with a high temperature. Cooking over coals gives a seared crust, and once you’ve got it, you can move the meat to a lower-heat area to finish cooking. Some charcoal grills have a “gas-assist” feature that helps light the charcoal but uses the charcoal for cooking.

Cons: It is time-consuming to light the fire and wait for the coals to burn to the right degree. Like, say, 2-year-old kids, coal fires can be unpredictable and messy to clean. The charcoal may need to be replenished during the cooking process to handle long, slow-barbecued meats.Food-on-grill-1024x807

And now for gas:

Pros: Gas is convenient, easy to use and quick to light, and gas fires have an even heat. Longing for that smoky flavor? You can create it by allowing the juices and fat to drip onto the stones and briefly catch fire (be vigilant watching for a bonfire when cooking chicken with skin on). The fuel supply can be used over and over again and is easy to replace.

Cons: Most gas grills won’t burn as hot as a charcoal grill, although a few high-end gas grills hit the heights of heat. Drippy fat or no, gas doesn’t quite give the level of smoky flavor that charcoal grills do.

Cal Flame BBQ offers additional add-on features to increase the flavor and intensity of your barbecued meats. From rotisserie baskets, to sear zone burners and smoke trays, Cal Flame makes sure that each and every meal grilled on a Cal Flame is the ultimate feast!Charcoal Helper Tray

www.CalFlameBBQ.com 

Grilling Orange

The season of orange is here. No, not the fruit, the color! Leaves change to different shades, pumpkins grow and, of course, pumpkin spice! This sort of fascination with the color not only gets us ready for the holiday season, but it also brings back memories of Autumns past. Why not incorporate the color orange into you home grilling this Fall?Food-on-grill-1024x807

Fine Cooking has a delicious Honey-Glazed Chicken, Sweet Potato, and Peach Skewers recipe ready to enjoy on your Cal Flame barbecue grill. Check it out below:051111071-01-chicken-peach-sweet-potato-kebabs-recipe_xlg

Juicy chunks of chicken, sweet potatoes, peaches, and onions are grilled with a sweet-tart glaze, then sprinkled with crunchy grilled spiced pecans. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 medium sweet potato (about 3/4 lb.), peeled and cut into sixteen 1-1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 Tbs. honey
  • 2 Tbs. canola oil; more for the grill
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 16 pieces
  • 4 small ripe but firm peaches, quartered and pitted (about 1-1/2 lb.)
  • 1/2 small sweet onion, cut into 1-1/2-inch chunks, layers separated (about 4 oz.)
  • 1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2  tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2  tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Directions: Prepare a medium gas or charcoal grill fire. Soak eight 12-inch wooden skewers in water.

In a 4-quart saucepan fitted with a steamer basket, bring 1 inch of water to a boil over high heat. Steam the sweet potatoes until nearly cooked but still a bit firm, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the heat; cool slightly.

Put the vinegar, 1/2 cup of the honey, 1 Tbs. of the oil, 2 tsp. salt, and 3/4 tsp. pepper in a 3-quart saucepan. Simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until reduced to 2/3 cup, 13 to 15 minutes. (The glaze should brush on easily but be thick enough to coat the chicken. If it’s too thick, add a few drops of hot water.) Meanwhile, thread the onion, chicken, sweet potato, and peach onto the soaked skewers.

Reserve half the glaze. Brush the skewers with the remaining half of the glaze. Thoroughly oil the grill grate. Arrange the skewers on one side of the grill grate and grill, covered, until well marked on one side, 4 to 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, toss the pecans in a small bowl with the remaining 1 Tbs. honey and 1 Tbs. oil, the cumin, pumpkin pie spice, 1/2 tsp. salt, and a pinch of pepper. Put a large piece of foil on the other side of the grill and scatter the nuts on the foil. Flip the skewers. Grill until the chicken is cooked through and the nuts are bubbling, 3 to 5 minutes more. (Keep a close eye on the nuts; stir if they threaten to burn.) Transfer the skewers to a serving platter, brush with the reserved glaze, and sprinkle with the pecans.

Delicious!

www.CalFlameBBQ.com

So Many Delicious Things!

Well, looks like July came and went really fast this time, didn’t it? The hours of Summer are now slowly drifting away as we welcome August with wide arms and sweater vests. But the grilling fun doesn’t need to stop here, no sir! Many of our favorite vegetables and fruits are in peak season and make a perfect companion to go with our grilled meats!avo4

Thanks to BUZZFEED for providing a handy-dandy list of everything fresh and ready to be devoured this August.

SO MANY DELICIOUS THINGS! Obviously, last-chance summer berries are the perfect excuse to eat dessert twice a day. Also, to drink sangria on the regular.

(This will vary depending on the time of the month and where you live):

- Apricots
- Basil
- Bell Peppers
- Beets
- Blackberries
- Blueberries
- Boysenberries
- Cantaloupe
- Chard
- Cherries
- Corn
- Cucumbers
- Eggplant
- Fennel
- Figs
- Grapes
- Green beans
- Green onions
- Kiwi
- Mangoes
- Melons
- Nectarines
- Okra
- Peaches
- Peas
- Plums
- Raspberries
- Scallions
- Strawberries
- Summer squash
- Tomatillos
- Tomatoes
- Watermelons
- Zucchini

Many vegetables, and even fruits, can be grilled and enjoyed directly from your Cal Flame BBQ Outdoor Kitchen. Crowd favorites include grilled avocados (brush with olive oil, season with salt and place face-down on your grill), eggplant (do I really need to explain this one?), Summer squash (get ‘em while they’re hot!), and roasted tomatoes (for your burger, salsas and everything in between).

Get more August Cooking Recipes at Buzzfeed by clicking, here.

For more information about Cal Flame BBQ product and service, and to find a Cal Flame store near you, please visit www.CalFlameBBQ.com.

Kamado Smoker Grilling

There isn’t much difference in cooking with a Kamado than with a traditional grill, however it is something you must accustom to before feeling comfortable. Kamados are capable of holding low temperatures for extended periods of time, which is excellent for slow cooking, which might cause a learning curve. Kamado smoker grills also provide the flexibility to achieve a variety of cooking styles, it’s up to the grill master to choose 1742236_444266102392466_324367846_n

Kamados naturally produce a natural convection effect, perfect for grilling and even baking, although it may take a little longer to enjoy your barbecue food, the end result will be well worth the wait. With that being said, here is my favorite brisket recipe you could use to your advantage on your kamado thanks to www.bbqguys.com.

SMOKED BRISKET

INGREDIENTS

    • 5-7 lb. beef brisket
    • 3-4 cups wood chunks or chips
    • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 T. dried rosemary
    • 2 T. garlic powder
    • 2 T. turbinado sugar
    • 2 T. paprika
    • 2 T. cayenne pepper
    • 1 T. dried oregano
    • 1 T. dried thyme
    • 2 T. kosher salt
    • 2 T. fresh cracked black pepper

DIRECTIONS

  1. After trimming the fat layer down on the brisket to about 1/4 inch and removing any large membranes or “silverskin”, rub generously with olive oil and rub in your spice blend with the backs of your hands (this is more fun than it sounds).
  2. Next double wrap your brisket tightly with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, but preferably over night.
  3. While waiting, soak your wood chips and set up your grill or smoker for indirect cooking.
  4. When ready, remove brisket from refrigerator and place straight on a 225°F degree grill, fat side down.
  5. If spraying your brisket, blend the apple cider and apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle and spritz every 2-3 hours.
  6. Your brisket will take between 1 1/4 – 2 hours per pound, depending on many different factors. With that said, insert an internal temperature probe into the thickest section of meat on your brisket at around 1 1/4 hours per pound of actual cooking time and begin to monitor.
  7. When your brisket reaches an internal temperature of 180°F, remove and double wrap with heavy duty aluminum foil; followed by wrapping tightly with a clean towel or newspaper.
  8. Now place the whole package inside of a cooler. When the internal temperature reaches 190°F, you are ready to un-wrap one of the best tasting cuts of beef you have ever had.

For more information about Cal Flame BBQ products and services, please visit www.CalFlameBBQ.com

Kamado Smoker Grill

By popular demand, Cal Flame BBQ, leading barbecue and hearth manufacturer, announces the launch of Kamado Smoker Grill as part of a new line products being offered in 2015.10948837_417414951749894_233735330_n

“The launch of the Kamado Smoker Grill is a new direction for the Cal Flame brand. Kamado grills bring on traditional cooking styles that I am sure expert barbecue enthusiasts will enjoy experimenting with,” said Casey Loyd, President of Cal Flame. “Our loyal customers will be impressed by the Kamado’s flexibility to achieve different cooking techniques. I am sure the Kamado is going to be a great success!”

Made from heavy ceramic material, the Kamado Smoker Grill allows for excellent heat retention and features a fireproof fabric seal to maintain heat within the vessel. Desired temperature can be achieved and maintained by precise control of airflow via the top and bottom vents. The Cal Flame Kamado Smoker can be used to grill, smoke and even bake your favorite dishes year-round. 1742236_444266102392466_324367846_n

Ceramic grills have been used by civilizations for over 4,000 years. This traditional form of cooking allows meats to remain moist and juicy, the shape of the dome kamado allows for different forms of cooking styles to be achieved through the airflow vents located on the unit.

The interior layer retains the heat inside the Kamado. Heat is absorbed and refracted within the firebox located on the bottom of the smoker. Perfect for slow and cool smoking, it doesn’t require constant fire tending, unlike traditional smokers. The Kamado cooks food thoroughly without drying it out, leaving it moist with full, smoky flavor.Kamado Grill Enviroment

The Cal Flame Kamado Smoker is now available to the Cal Flame dealer network and will be a stunning addition to any dealer showroom.  Consumers are encouraged to visit a local Cal Flame BBQ dealer for purchase information. For additional information about Cal Flame products visit, www.calflamebbq.com.

Fourth of July Cookout

Okay everyone, this is it: the biggest barbecue day of the YEAR! While some of us might be preoccupied wondering what the headliner on their plate will be at this year’s Fourth of July Cookout, and others have made up their mind after wrapping up last year’s feast. But this isn’t about the main dish, oh no ladies and gentleman, contrary to popular belief the delicacies are only a portion of what makes a cookout a real EVENT. It’s really all about coming together on a warm evening to celebrate with friends, family and food. Here are some Independence Day-inspired activities you could share with family at this year’s Fourth of July Cookout!4th of julyFourth of July is, for the most part, a warm day/evening, cool off with some water activities that the entire family can join in on. Water balloons are a fun, and cost-effective way to cool down while waiting for the food to be ready. Hot Potato is an all time favorite.

For dessert, host a watermelon eating contest. Whoever wins gets first-pick on fireworks or an extra sparkler. How about having a ring-toss game with glowsticks? Stake down some sticks upright and toss glowstick necklaces, and see how many you can make in.

When your Fourth of July get together begins to wind down, get in a last sugar rush with some tabletop s’mores. Place a foil cover inside small terracotta pots, drop-in some charcoal and let the sparks keep flying.Al-La-Cart-Deluxe-medium

Of course, these are only a few of the many activities that can supplement your enjoyment this Fourth of July. For the ultimate Fourth of July Cookout experience, why not get a Cal Flame BBQ Outdoor Kitchen? The ultimate customizable BBQ Island that will cater to each one of your needs Make sure to visit www.CalFlameBBQ.com to shop through our extensive BBQ Island selection.

 

 

 

 

June Gloom Summer Kickoff

The sun is shining, the flowers are blooming and June Gloom is in full swing. What better way to kickoff Summer than with a June Gloom Summer barbecue?grill-a-la-cart-series

It seems although burgers might be the unpopular option this Summer during your big backyard barbecue. Ground beef prices in April rose to a record $4.23 a pound, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as beef prices have risen 14 months in a row, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Just five years ago, hamburger prices were almost half that, at $2.36 a pound. Americans spent about $298 per person on beef in 2014, and $170 on pork, according to the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the highest dollar amounts in 25 years.Cal Flame Outdoor Kitchen

The good thing, however, is that pork prices have fallen the lowest in nearly five years, and half of what they were a year ago. Bacon and its beloved smoky taste have become ubiquitous, popping up in foods like all-bacon burgers, bacon-flavored milkshakes and even bacon-topped maple and chocolate doughnuts.

This year, why not grill something new? Try the following recipe at your outdoor barbecue:

Caribbean-Spiced Pork Tenderloin with Peach Salsa Recipe

TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. Grill: 20 min.
MAKES: 4 servings

Ingredients

3/4 cup chopped peeled fresh peaches
1 small sweet red pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon Caribbean jerk seasoning
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1 pork tenderloin (1 pound)

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, combine the first nine ingredients; set aside. In another small bowl, combine the oil, brown sugar, jerk seasoning, thyme, rosemary and seasoned salt. Rub over pork.
  2. Grill, covered, over medium heat for 9-11 minutes on each side or until a thermometer reads 145°. Let stand for 5 minutes before slicing. Serve with salsa. Yield: 4 servings (1-1/3 cups salsa).

For more delicious pork recipes, visit Taste of Home, herecalflame-grill-2

Find the perfect barbecue grill to suit your BBQ style at Cal Flame BBQ. Find a local dealer near you, here.

Dads & Grads Sweepstakes

ENTER CAL FLAME’S DADS & GRADS SWEEPSTAKES TO WIN!

Enter today! Visit the official Cal Flame BBQ Facebook fan page and enter the DADS & GRADS Sweepstakes. Complete and submit an entry form by Father’s Day, June 21st to win a Cal Flame Utensil Set with Apron and Glove! Three lucky winners will be selected. Dads-and-Grads-Sweepstakes-960x270_2

HOW TO ENTER:

  • “LIKE” Cal Flame BBQ on Facebook.
  • Click on the SWEEPSTAKES tab.
  • Follow Cal Flame on Twitter and Instagram.
  • Then, share your entry on your timeline with family and friends to increase your chances of winning!

Contest begins May 19th, 2015 and ends on Father’s Day, Sunday, June 21, 2015 at 11:59 PM PST. Entries received after the deadline will not be eligible to win.Dads-and-Grads-Sweepstakes-600x450_2

Must be at least 18 years of age to enter. Sweepstakes only available to residents of the contiguous United States. Three (3) sweepstakes winners will be chosen randomly. Winners will be announced on or before Friday, June 26, 2015 via Facebook and contacted directly to collect prizes. Inability to contact a winner may result in disqualification and selection of an alternate winner. Valid email and phone number are required to enter. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. You are providing your information to Cal Spas/Cal Flame and not to Facebook. By participating in this promotion you agree to a complete release of Facebook from any claims. Participation in this promotion is subject to the official rules.

What Kind of Barbecuer Are You? Find Out during National Barbecue Month in May

Discover your barbecue personality and take your grilling game to the next levelHPBA-Kind of Barbecuer

The unofficial start to summer, May is also National Barbecue Month. Before you head outside to fire up the ‘cue, we’re encouraging individuals to answer the question “What Kind of Barbecuer Are You?” with an online quiz that matches you to your barbecue personality.

After answering questions about your barbecue habits – from “What do you look for in a barbecue?” to “What do you consider barbecuing success?” to “How adventurous do you like to get with your barbecue menu?” – your true barbecue identity will be revealed.

For example, are you a Master Barbecuer? Or, maybe you’re a Barbecue Tenderfoot?

Whatever your proficiency, the “What Kind of Barbeucer Are You?” quiz is designed to help you take your barbecuing expertise to the next level by providing recommendations on barbecue tools, products, technologies, accessories and techniques to help you reach your full barbecuing potential.

And, perhaps most fun, individuals who take the quiz and share their personalities on Facebook and Twitter have an opportunity to win barbecue-related prizes throughout the month including accessories, sauces, cookbooks and more!

This summer, look beyond what’s already in your backyard. Find out what kind of barbecuer you are and take the first steps to being on your way to achieving your vision of barbecuing greatness.

Take the “What Kind of Barbecuer Are You?” Quiz Now >>17_Family Cal Flame_Lg

Get a glimpse of what Cal Flame BBQ has to offer at www.CalFlameBBQ.com 

Ceramic Grills

Pool & Spa News recently reported about the increased popularity in ceramic grills:10948837_417414951749894_233735330_n

Cooking with ceramics began thousands of years ago and is an ongoing practice on every continent. With all the fine cooking qualities that ceramics have to offer, we shouldn’t be surprised that they have arrived in American-style barbecue cookers in a big way.

Here, I’ll explain the science behind the ceramic cooker and why it might be a key ingredient that’ll add more flavor to your customers’ upcoming Memorial Day barbecue parties.

An ancient cooking method
After developing for thousands of years in Asian countries, the kamado-style ceramic grill was finally discovered by American military personnel during World War II in Japan. As they began to ship these cookers home, the U.S. became exposed to a new, yet ancient, method of cooking.

Originally used for all types of food, including rice and soup, the kamado’s properties were especially well-suited for backyard barbecue cooking. Because the kamado does not require a lot of air and fire to keep it hot, it tends to eliminate flare-ups, hold an even temperature, preserve moisture and burn very little charcoal in the process.

These unique properties help it to function well for high-temperature grilling, slow smoking and even baking. Here’s why:

Grilling: The kamado can get extremely hot for grilling and searing. It actually looks a lot like a ceramic pottery kiln. It may be used with the dome open, but is usually closed to hold in the heat and moisture.

As with most other charcoal-fired grills, the charcoal is placed on a grate in the bottom, and the cooking grid is then placed above. In most models, you can get the food close to the coals if you really want intense heat. Because of the gasket seal and air control, you also can slow the grill down for more gentle grilling temperatures and control or eliminate flare-ups.

Smoking and roasting: Smoking is probably what ceramic kamados are best recognized for. The ability to cook at low temperatures for many hours on a small amount of charcoal makes the whole process a lot easier. Most units will smoke for 10 to 15 hours or more on less than 10 pounds of charcoal. The size of the cooker and temperature settings will add more or less to those figures.

Indirect heat, low temperatures and smoke are the keys for smoking food. Most kamados use a ceramic barrier to provide the indirect heat. Pans, with or without liquid, may also be used to avoid the direct radiant heat from the charcoal. This flat, ceramic piece is placed between the charcoal and the food. A pan of some sort is often placed on top of the ceramic piece to catch the grease drippings. Now the user can place the meat on the grid and they’re ready to smoke.

Because of the indirect, convective heat flow and some radiant heat from the dome above, the user has even heating all the way around the food. No need to turn the food or use a rotisserie.

As for smoke, there are many species of wood that can be used to add flavor. Dealers should consider carrying bags of various varieties in chips or chunks. (Even for regular grilling, it is nice to throw in a small handful to add that extra touch of smoke flavor.)

Baking: Using the same indirect-heat method, a ceramic kamado can bake anything your customer would put in a conventional oven: breads, cakes, cookies, pies.

Of course, pizza is the backyard favorite. A kamado basically turns into a wood-fired pizza oven with a bit of fuel and a pizza stone. At high temperatures, a kamado can crank out pizzas very quickly.

Fuel of choice
Natural lump charcoal is the preferred fuel for kamados and it is easier to light.

It is just regular pieces of wood (you can still see the grain) that is turned into charcoal. Since it is not crushed up and compacted into dense little briquettes, it lights much easier. Most standard “charcoal” briquettes have a whole lot of coal added. Coal is a fossil fuel out of the ground (like you needed me to tell you that). It’s good for heating and blacksmithing, but not the same as natural wood charcoal. Since the lump charcoal doesn’t have any additives, you don’t have to wait for the whole pile to burn off those extra ingredients before you start cooking.

And you can skip traditional lighter fluid.1742236_444266102392466_324367846_n

Most kamado manufacturers recommend or require that you do not use lighter fluid. It smells bad anyway. Electric starters are inexpensive and make starting the charcoal easy. Different types of starters are available. For the standard type with a heating element, put the charcoal around the element and let it go about 7 or 8 minutes. Then pull the starter out and let the charcoal continue to bring the grill up to temperature for another 5 to 15 minutes, depending on how hot you want the grill.

After they’ve done it a few times and get their routines down, your customers won’t think of it as difficult or time consuming anymore.

There’s not much clean up required, either, as there is not much ash produced.

The beauty of kamado cooking is that the customer can cook anything, with a minimal amount of preparation, hardware or fuel, and turn out championship barbecue foods.Kamado Grill Enviroment

To read more information about Pool & Spa Scene, click here.

To purchase Cal Flame’s Kamado Smoker Grill, contact your nearest Certified Cal Flame Dealer here.